September 20, 2013

Final report

Euphoric mood at the world’s leading trade fair

  • 66,886 visitors – rise of 14 percent
  • 183 countries – even wider international spread
  • Exhibitors: “drinktec is simply the best”

Attracting 66,886 visitors from 183 countries, drinktec 2013, the World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, has exceeded all expectations – and put the exhibitors and visitors in a euphoric mood. The overriding feeling among the 1,445 exhibitors from 77 countries was: There´s no getting round this top event, drinktec is simply the best. As compared to the last drinktec in 2009, the 2013 edition showed a significant rise in visitor numbers, of 14 percent. And what was especially pleasing was that German SMEs, too, many of them local and regional brewers, were discovering drinktec all over again and enjoying the benefits of the show, including the well attended "Brewers' Meeting Point" in Hall B1, specially set up for this target group.

Strong growth in the number of visitors from overseas
In terms of the international scope of drinktec 2013, the show again ventured into new dimensions, over and above the already high level achieved in 2009. The number of countries form which the trade visitors traveled to the show rose from 172 to 183. The proportion of visitors from outside Germany rose again, from 57 to 62 percent. What was particularly noticeable was the strong growth in visitor numbers from overseas, in particular from Asia and the US. The number of visitors from Japan doubled to 1,170. A total of 1,779 visitors (+16 percent) came from the US, making this country fourth in the visitor rankings. China, from which 1,423 visitors (+45 percent) came, achieved seventh place. The figures for Thailand, too, were a surprise: 586 visitors came from this country, a rise of 71 percent. In the overall ranking of countries of origin among the visitors from abroad, Italy was first with 4,418 visitors, and Russia second, this country showing a strong 112-percent increase in visitor numbers to 2,095.

Switzerland was in third place, with a 32-percent rise in numbers to 1,930. Also among this top ten were Great Britain, Austria, France, Belgium and Japan. This makes drinktec a truly world-spanning event, as pointed out by Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director of Messe München GmbH: “The fact that around one third of the trade visitors from abroad came from overseas is highly impressive. drinktec has thus further consolidated and further expanded its status as the world´s most important meeting place for the beverages sector.”

Many exhibitors reported doing good business at the show – exploring options, discussing new business, working out the fine details and even signing contracts during the five days of the event. Following a number of difficult years, it is now clear from this show that the sector is moving forward again and that there is an increasing willingness to invest. In a survey of the exhibitors at the show 84 percent described the current economic situation in the sector as “excellent to good”; four years ago only 48 percent were able to be so positive. For Volker Kronseder, Board Chairman of Krones AG and President of the drinktec Advisory Board, the signs were already promising ahead of drinktec 2013: “Because of this background of rising demand, we came to this event with high expectations. And we were not disappointed!”

Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (VDMA Fachverband Nahrungsmittelmaschinen und Verpackungsmaschinen), stressed the importance of drinktec for the exhibiting companies: “drinktec is the 'World Summit' for the beverages sector. Companies large, small and medium-sized – all were more than delighted with the quality and number of the trade visitors here.”

Spectacular machinery parks
A whole host of exhibitors really pulled out all the stops for their presentations, and indeed some of the booths impressed with spectacular architectural designs. The top players in the sector installed extensive machinery parks – an exciting and exhilarating display that delighted the visitors who had traveled from far and wide for this event. World premieres were on show at many booths. Behind closed doors, in exhibitor´s offices and VIP lounges, business was being discussed and orders signed. The key themes at drinktec 2013 were energy¬saving, variety, flexibility and safety. In the spotlight were cost-effective and sustainable solutions for process optimization. There was also a special focus on innovative packaging solutions that use as little packaging material as possible. Another trend theme was digital direct printing on bottles.

Delighted customers – Interest from around the globe
Many exhibitors expressed their delight about the way the show went in almost euphoric terms. They were especially pleased with the quality of the visitors and the international spread reflected in that trade audience. KHS Chairman, Matthias Niemeyer met with “delighted customers” and “interest from all around the globe”. Oliver Hoffmann, Marketing Director at Döhler, reported meeting “owners and CEOs with their entire management team”. Laying the foundations for new business, talking about specific projects, signing up new orders and meeting many new and promising contacts – that´s what makes drinktec so attractive for the exhibitors. Two examples: Martin Hammerschmid, Managing Director of Gernep, was able to “generate new orders”, Michael Mäusl, Managing Director of Hümmer Werbung, received “inquiries from many new prospects”. And why does a company like Lindr from the Czech Republic exhibit at drinktec for the first time? Answer: “Because we want to be where all our key clients are and acquire new clients”, explained General Manager Martin Hladik.

Top marks from exhibitors and visitors
The satisfaction of the exhibitors and visitors is reflected also in the surveys conducted among these groups by market researchers TNS Infratest. The results are surely hard to beat. 89 percent of the exhibitors and almost all the visitors (98 percent) rated drinktec 2013 as “excellent to good”. Top marks came from the exhibitors in particular for the quality (92 percent “excellent to good”) and international spread (94 percent “excellent to good”) of the trade visitors. In terms of what they thought of the current economic situation, 62 percent of the exhibitors believed that things are likely to improve still further going forward. The visitors, too, gave drinktec 2013 top marks in practically all the categories. Almost all the drinktec visitors (97 percent) rated the breadth and depth of the range on show, and their success in reaching the exhibitor groups of interest to them as “excellent to good”. 97 percent were successful in paving the way for new investments, 89 percent in searching for new products and innovations. The supporting program was also well received, and rated as “excellent to good” by an average of 90 percent of the visitors.

Tremendous response to the Innovation Flow Lounge
The extensive supporting program at drinktec 2013 went down very well with the visitors. Particularly popular was the new Innovation Flow Lounge, which attracted around 800 visitors. This was the first dedicated forum for marketing themes at drinktec. Many visitors from other corporate functions also came to the Lounge, to find out about new developments in beverages marketing and to talk to the experts there. The “Talking Table” in the Innovation Flow Lounge featured many prominent personalities in the beverages and marketing world. The wheat-beer brewers Georg Schneider and Jeff Maisel discussed with other experts the booming craft beer scene. Jorge Grabmeier from Becker´s Bester and Nils Lorbeer from Campari were among the panel discussing “Top it off with something good! Promotion extras for beverages”. High-ranking experts also gathered in the Innovation Flow Lounge to discuss packaging intelligence, among them Geert Marsé from Coca Cola and Myriam Shingleton from Carlsberg. Petra Westphal, the Exhibition Group Director at Messe München responsible for drinktec, believes the Innovation Flow Lounge is a new and unique platform: “The tremendous response to this new project surprised even us. Many speakers at and visitors to the Lounge expressly welcomed the idea of promoting dialog between marketing and technology in this way. We have clearly hit the bull´s eye with this and we will be developing it further with a view to drinktec 2017.”

Other highlights in the supporting program were:

  • The election of the new World Champion Beer Sommelier. Oliver Wesseloh, a “creative brewer” from Hamburg, won through in the final against five opponents. Second was the American Don Lindsay ahead of Brazilian Tatiana Spogis.
  • The competition to find the “European Beer Star”. Of more than 1,500 beers from all over the world submitted for the competition, 51 received a coveted gold medal. The most successful brewery came from the US: The Firestone Walker Brewery from Paso Robles secured four gold medals, among them the coveted “Consumers´ Favorite” medal, which was selected from among the gold medal winners by visitors to the trade show. Among the German brewers, Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg came top, winning two gold and three silver medals.
  • The lectures in the drinktec Forum. Here independent experts discussed a range of topics, such as the brewery of the future. Other theme days concentrated on packaging, nutrition, hygiene and product quality. On the five days of the show, more than 2,000 visitors seized the opportunity of finding out about themes affecting the future of the beverage and liquid food industry.
  • The presentation of the Beverage Innovation Awards. 27 awards were presented in six categories. The prestigious award for the “Best environmental sustainability initiative” was won by Frigoglass from Greece, for its “Solar Ice Cold Merchandiser”.
  • The drinktec beer “Orange Spirit”, specially brewed for the trade show. Trade visitors were able to taste this new brew at the Brewers´ Meeting Point, organized by the Bavarian brewing organization. And, for a taste of the beers currently being offered by US craft brewers, the place to go was the Craft Brewers Lounge organized by the US Brewers Association.

Success for oils+fats
Taking place in parallel with drinktec 2013 was oils+fats, the International Trade Fair for the Technology and Trade in Oils and Fats. The synergies with drinktec were primarily in the area of liquid food, where often similar machinery and components are used. The 47 exhibitors from 16 countries who took up around 3,000 square meters of exhibition space in Hall B0, were pleased in particular with the professionalism and internationality of the visitors. oils+fats has therefore consolidated its status as the world´s only dedicated business platform for the sector. What was noticeable this time was that many exhibitors had brought along large machinery exhibits to show to the trade audience.

The next drinktec takes place from September 11 to 15, 2017.

The exhibitor testimonials on drinktec 2013 are gathered together in Press Release no. 41.

Your press contacts for drinktec 2013:
Johannes Manger and Benjamin Büttner
Tel. (+49 89) 949-21482 / 21484

Further information about Messe München